Bradley Manning expected to speak at trial today; email with female selfie released

A self-portrait snapshot Bradley Manning took, and emailed to his supervisor in the Army in April, 2010, prior to leaking government documents to Wikileaks.

We've been following the court-martial of Pfc. Bradley Manning here at Boing Boing, and I have visited the trial periodically to live-blog the proceedings in person. Today is expected to be a significant day at Fort Meade: the 25-year-old former Army intel analyst is expected to make a statement to the court, as Judge Col. Denise Lind weighs the sentence he will receive. Kevin Gosztola, Nathan Fuller, and Alexa O'Brien are among the few reporters/bloggers who have been there daily, for months. Alexa says:

Kevin is liveblogging here, at Firedoglake. I've gathered some of their tweets from the Fort Meade media operations center below, summarizing witnesses' statements and the vibe around the press center (in a word, tense). Look for today's transcripts at the Freedom of the Press Foundation website later today (the court isn't releasing official transcripts, but we've sent stenographers, crowd-funded and permitted by the judge with your help). Here are yesterday's transcripts: morning, afternoon.

One of the big reveals over the last few days of the trial: "My Problem" [PDF] an email Manning sent on Saturday, April 24, 2010 to his then-supervisor, former Master Sgt. Paul Adkins. The message amounted to a confession that Manning was transgender, and felt unable to transition within the military environment in Iraq.

The email [PDF] begins:
This is my problem. I’ve had signs of it for a very long time. It’s caused problems within my family. I thought a career in the military would get rid of it. It’s not something I seek out for attention, and I’ve been trying very, very hard to get rid of it by placing myself in situations where it would be impossible. But, it’s not going away; it’s haunting me more and more as I get older. Now, the consequences of it are dire, at a time when it’s causing me great pain it itself.
Attached to the email is the self-portrait shown above, of Manning presenting as a woman, in a wig and make-up.

Tweets from the trial today, below.

Notable Replies

  1. Elusis says:

    Gender identity issues are not the same as "sanity issues," FFS.

  2. What? No. I think he/she's kinda cute. Happy now?

  3. Actually, the DSM V came out in May. Gender Dysphoria is the current term for what trans people experience according to the DSM, and it is deliberately no longer a disorder.

  4. It's a pretty common scenario: He was at the point of a personal crisis and all that stress went into a defiant self righteous act against authority. I would suggest there's a pretty direct connection.

    It's a shame things have gone so badly for him because the apache videos needed to come out.

  5. I'm curious what you're trying to imply.

    I didn't comment initially because I didn't have anything insightful to add. It's disgusting that our armed forces are homophobic and transphobic, it's disgusting that the poor kid was abused in prison for being trans, it's appalling that this fucking shill of a psychiatrist David Moulton wants us to believe that idealism is a mental disorder. All of this ought to be obvious. There's nothing to be gained by pointing out that the sky is blue.

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